Massage facilities for train passengers?

Aiming at raising revenue generation, Indian Railways has an innovative step. Passengers will have the option of getting a foot and head massage while travelling. The service package will be economically priced between Rs 100 and 300.

The Railway department has decided to roll out the pilot project within 15 days at the Ratlam Division of Western Railway. Depending upon the kind of response it generates among passengers, it will be introduced in other divisions as well.

The project has been initiated under the New Innovative Non-fair Revenue Ideas Scheme (NINFRIS) which means that innovative ideas are put into practice to raise revenue, without hiking fare.

A senior official of Indian Railways said that it was a never-before initiative in public services and if it could be pulled off successfully, other Divisional Managers would be asked to implement it in their respective areas. “It has the potential to generate an extra profit of Rs 20 lakh in a year,” he said.

Asked how it will be applied, he said that to begin with the service will be available in 30 trains from Indore station. Indian Railways has outsourced the responsibility of providing massage to a private company which would engage its trained professionals for the purpose. There will be three packages available – Gold, Diamond and Platinum priced at Rs 100, 200 and 300, respectively.

It has been made clear that it will not be made mandatory to any passengers and only those who would willingly want to avail of these services they would contact railway officials concerned. The services will not be available between 10 pm and 6 am. Officials have been given clear instruction about the do’s and dont’s in this service.

Only head and foot massage would be made available and for that three to five professionals would be present in every train. The number might be increased if there is adequate demand.

Officials also said that about 20,000 new passengers might also increase in Indian Railways owing to the introduction of this service and for that there will be massive publicity done across divisions to create awareness among passengers. The agreement with the service providing company also states that professionals engaged in providing service will not only have special identity cards but also have to buy tickets to board the trains concerned but with a general ticket they would be allowed to gain access at all classes.

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